Let's Talk About It
Anyone else feeling cramped at the moment? Seems my teenage-self isn’t the only one still processing the issue of stereotyping, in particular around Christmas when that invite to your mother’s is looming as is the inevitable question…
“So have you met anyone special lately? How’s your love life?”
Cue the awkward smile! Some of us have been blessed with understanding families but even then it can be a quick hop, skip, jump to condescension. So why are we so worried about being boxed in?
For example, I’ve noticed a sudden steep incline in people of alternative sexualities who can’t stand the colour pink, nor a triangle shape (the fact that a pink triangle is our logo makes this conversation a tenuous one).
No-one is open about their Kylie or K.D. Lang albums anymore or their Doc Martens or size 12 perspex pumps.
As the marriage rights debate rages, many people seem to think that shunning the old symbols and cues and opening ourselves up as one race of people is the best way to destroy the stereotype.
When did assimilation and benevolence become the stairway to liberation? When did we decide that behaving like we have something to prove is the way to be respected and understood? Now I’m not the loudest of LGBTIQ representatives by a long shot, but happen to know many a person who holds respect for those unafraid to flaunt who they are. It’s not about sexuality, it’s about personality! A young girl who wants to shave her hair and wear a rainbow leotard simply because she wants to should be applauded for having the courage to fight for our rights on a daily basis-not just when faced with a lectern and an axe to grind.
Our activists aren’t just the people in the suits who deliver a salient message that’s easy for everyone to swallow; they’re the kids being beaten on for trying to express their individuality (and just so happen to be gay as well). Support those with the courage to wear the stereotype with pride, not because they’re trying to push it in people’s faces, but because they darn well want to and should be able to do so without fear of condemnation or conformation.
Gay and Lesbian Community Services provide telephone support, counselling and even just listening nightly 7pm-10pm on (08) 8193 0800. Follow on twitter @glcs_sa and find them on facebook.
Brodie Paparella is the Vice President of Gay and Lesbian Community Services (GLCS) and works as a freelance publicist in Adelaide, an arts lover and all-round ok guy.